WORLD ECONOMY: U.S. President George Bush is meeting with presidential candidates Barack Obama
and John McCain at the White House today to discuss a proposed
700-billion dollar rescue plan for the U.S. financial sector.Key
congressional leaders are also due to attend the meeting.In a
nationallly televised address Wednesday night, Mr. Bush urged lawmakers to pass
the massive plan, warning that the entire U.S. economy faces a "long and
painful" recession if Congress does not take immediate action.The
bailout plan would allow the government to buy devalued assets from troubled
US POLITICS: Rival U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain came together
Wednesday to issue a joint statement urging congressional action on an economic
rescue package.The statement calls the Bush administration's
multi-billion dollar plan flawed. But it says the country cannot risk economic
catastrophe. The statement says Democrats and Republicans must rise
above politics and come together for the sake of the American
people.Earlier Wednesday, Republican candidate McCain says he is
suspending his campaign to focus on the financial crisis.
SOUTH AFRICA - POLITICS: A new South African president is to be sworn into office today
after the ruling party forced Thabo Mbeki to resign just months before the end
of his term.Parliament is expected to elect Kgalema Mothlanthe as South
Africa's third post-apartheid president today.Mothlanthe is the deputy leader of the ruling African
National Congress party. He will serve until April elections, which ruling party
chief Jacob Zuma is expected to win.
CHINA - MILK: South Korea is the latest nation to ban imports of Chinese dairy products after
discovering Chinese-made snacks contained a chemical that has sickened thousands
of children who consumed contaminated milk.The Korean Food and Drug
Administration (KFDA) says tests on more than 100 products found the
chemical melamine in two biscuit-type snacks. Officials ordered the products to
be removed from store shelves and destroyed. More than a dozen
governments in Asia, Africa and Europe have either banned or recalled Chinese
dairy products since the scandal broke two weeks ago.
THAILAND - SAMAK: Thailand's Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and jail sentence of
ex-Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in connection to a defamation
case.Today's ruling upholds a two-year jail sentence
handed down last year by a criminal court. Samak and a co-defendant were
found guilty for remarks made during a television show in 2006, when he accused
a former deputy governor of Bangkok of accepting a bribe.Samak's lawyer
says he will file an appeal with the Thai Supreme Court.
BURMA - EXPLOSION: At least six people have been wounded in a bomb blast in the main Burmese city
of Rangoon today, the one-year anniversary of the ruling
military's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.Authorities
say a small bomb detonated outside Rangoon's City Hall, the focal point of last
year's massive protests led by Buddhist monks. Riot police have sealed off the
area from onlookers.Security has been tightened in Rangoon in advance of
this week's anniversary of the crackdown. The United Nations says at least 31
people were killed and thousands more detained as a result of the crackdown.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: One of the world's longest-serving leaders, and one of its newest, will take the
stage at the United Nations General Assembly today .Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Pakistan's new
president, Asif Ali Zardari, will headline the third day of debate in New
York.President Mugabe has governed Zimbabwe with a strong grip since
1980. He recently relinquished some power to the opposition under international
pressure following controversial general elections.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani authorities say they have heightened security at all airports after a
phone caller threatened to bomb the Islamabad airport.Authorities at the
international airport in Islamabad say security officials found no bombs at the
boarding gates and lounges during a sweep of the building today.They say despite the ongoing search, all flights are
on schedule.Security officials began searching the airport after an
unknown person called in a suicide bomb threat today.
Rumors of bomb threats have circulated the capital since a suicide
bomber detonated 600 kilograms of explosives at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad
Listen to our World News for details.